Teleportation: 'Beam Me Up Scotty' moving closer to reality
By Dick Pelletier
Ever since our ancestors invented the wheel, humanity
has searched for better ways to travel from one place to
another. The horse-drawn wagon, bicycle, automobile and
airplane have all enjoyed varying degrees of success; and
tomorrow's driverless cars and hyperspace crafts promise
even more efficiency.
However, many future followers believe none of these will
equal what may become the most efficient mode of travel ever
– teleportation. Rapidly moving from Sci-Fi to real science,
a few bold futurists predict this far-out way of going from
point A to point B could one day become the Holy Grail
How Stuff Works
, "Teleportation involves
dematerializing an object at one point, and sending the
details of that object's precise atomic configuration to
another location, to be reconstructed. This means that time
and space could be eliminated from travel. We would be
transported to any location instantly, without actually
crossing a physical distance."
Most people were first introduced to teleportation in the
TV series, where Captain Kirk
crew beamed away to their many hair-raising adventures. We
were fascinated watching people step on the transporter,
disappear, and then instantly reappear at their destination.
How close are we towards realizing this futuristic
technology? The following list reveals milestones achieved
in teleportation development:
Charles Bennett was
the first to prove that teleportation is possible with
idea into reality by teleporting a photon.
– Australian National University
successfully teleported a laser beam.
– Denmark scientists beamed
information stored in a laser beam into a cloud of atoms.
– European Space Agency scientists
sent information 89 miles using quantum entanglement.
– Swedish scientists
reliability of teleporting data via quantum
As you can see, far from being a dream, teleportation is
happening routinely in laboratories in the form of quantum
technologies. Today, this is restricted to tiny particles,
but enthusiasts believe that one day as the science develops
further, it will be possible to teleport larger objects and
eventually, a human being.
However, the challenges are enormous. Researchers must first
create a machine to pinpoint, analyze, and store information
from quintillions of atoms and bits, including our
consciousness. The machine must then transmit the data to
another location where an exact replica forms and the old
body dematerializes. But some may wonder, "Is this new body
really me; or could something have gotten lost in the
Forward thinkers believe all of these issues will be solved
with future technologies. Molecular nanotech, expected by
late 2020s, will enable devices that can capture and store
the colossal amounts of data. And quantum computers aided by
future artificial intelligence, predicted for mainstream use
by late 2030s, will process the information needed to record
every atom in a body insuring that nothing gets lost in
One of the features of quantum teleportation, the only form
of teleportation that allows the creation of a perfect copy
of the original somewhere else, is that the original is
always destroyed. Is this OK? Most experts believe it is.
Biology tells us that all the cells in a human body are
replaced periodically anyway.
But perhaps a non-quantum form of teleportation where the
original would not be destroyed could be developed for
humans. However, this would result in the existence of two
identical people, which poses other issues; what rights will
this new person be given; should it own my belongings, share
Regardless of these perplexing scenarios, more and more
physicists believe that human teleportation will happen.
Bennett predicts future technicians will scan a
person using a futuristic MRI-like device, and then transmit
the data somewhere to be reassembled into an exact replica
of the original person.
As this revolutionary science advances exponentially into the
decades ahead, by as early as the 2030s, we could be
teleporting information; and sometime during the last half
of this century, the first humans might step onto a
transporter and beam themselves to anywhere on Earth; or to
a vacation spa in space.
Are we headed for a teleportation future? If we blend
tomorrow's predicted nanotechnology and artificial
intelligence advances with human ingenuity, the answer is a
resounding yes! Comments welcome.
This article appeared in various print publications and
on-line blogs. Comments always welcome.